“And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.”–Mark 14:4-5
It is very easy to yield to the temptation to criticize others, and find fault with their way of serving Christ. There are many motives which come in to promote this unchristian habit. We are all prone to be envious of others, and hence to form unjust opinions of what they do. One of the last graces to ripen in a Christian, is usually that of rejoicing in another’s good work. It is very hard, too, to learn our Lord’s lesson: “Do not judge—or you too will be judged.” It seems natural, too, as sad as the confession may be, for us to disparage what others do, and to underestimate it.
But we should learn the sinfulness of murmuring against others. We see how unlovely, how unChristlike, it was in these first disciples. Is it any less so in us when we allow ourselves to criticize our fellow-Christians, finding fault with the way they show their love for Christ? Even if they do not do their work as we do ours—have we a right to judge them and blame them, and speak unkind things about what they have done? Between them and their Master, rests the matter, and it is not our duty to make ourselves judges and condemners of their acts. They are responsible for what they do—not us. There are few lessons more needed than this, for there are few faults more common than that which we see here in these first disciples.(J R Miller)